Yale at Princeton Friday Night

Yale at Princeton Friday Night

Bulldogs, Tigers Seek Big Ivy Win


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NEW HAVEN, Conn.  – The No. 18/18 Yale men's lacrosse team (3-2) travels to New Jersey this Friday for a crucial Ivy League contest against an old rival in No. 10/11 Princeton.  The Bulldogs and Tigers, both coming off losses in their league openers last Saturday, square off at 5 p.m. at Class of '52 Stadium in a game that airs live on ESPNU.



They split two games played last season. The Blue fell 10-9 in five overtimes the first meeting before dispatching the host Tigers, 15-7, in the final of the 2012 Ivy League Tournament. Yale has won its last three contests at the Class of '52 field, two against Princeton (2011) and a tournament semifinal against Cornell.



At Princeton's Class of 52 Field, Yale notched its ninth victory in a row behind a strong all-around team performance. Ten Bulldogs found the net, led by a two-goal, four-assist outing by Matt Gibson '12 and three tallies from Deron Dempster. Dylan Levings won 14 of 23 face-offs and Jack Meyer stopped nine shots. The victory put the Bulldogs in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1992.



The Bulldogs fell 12-10 to No. 2 Cornell. Dylan Levings had a monster performance, winning 22 of 25 battles on the X and picking up 12 ground balls. Eight Bulldogs scored goals, with Conrad Oberbeck leading the day with three. Brandon Mangan continued his streak of consistency, stretching his team-leading point total to 25 with a goal and four assists. 



Princeton (4-2) hosts the Blue as the No. 10/11 team in the nation. The Tigers won their first four games by a combined score of 50-28 before falling to North Carolina 16-15 and Penn 11-10 the past two weekends. 



The class of 2013 boasted 31 career wins over its first three years, the most by a class heading into its senior year since 1993. The seniors (3-2) would need 12 more wins to tie the class of '91, which has the most (46) victories in Yale lacrosse history.



D Michael McCormack (West Islip, NY.) has caused eight turnovers and scooped up 16 ground balls this season. Last season he led Eli defensemen with 55 ground balls and 34 caused turnovers. McCormack, the captain, was second-team All-Ivy League and first-team All-New England last season after averaging 2.16 caused turnovers per game, good for sixth nationally. He has been selected for pre-season All-Ivy League and All-America squads by insidelacrosse.com.



Senior Peter Johnson (Minnetonka, MN) leads the team and is 12th in the country with two caused turnovers a game. A first-team All-Ivy and honorable mention All-American, he caused 1.81 turnovers (16th in D1) per game last season. Johnson has been selected as pre-season All-Ivy League and All-America by insidelacrosse.com.



Junior Dylan Levings (Massapequa, NY.) has a .661face-off percentage, good for fourth in the nation, while he is third in Division I with 9.8 ground balls per game.  Last year Levings had a .632 rate, No. 4 in the nation. A huge factor behind Yale's success, Levings was even better (.701) in league games. Against Harvard last year, he won the first six face-offs and nine of the last 10, which earned him New England (NEILA) Player of the Week honors. He had 10 double-digit win outings last season and was ninth in ground balls (6.63) in Division I.



Junior Brandon Mangon (Wantagh, NY.) leads the Bulldogs in points with 24 and is 15th in the country in assists per game with 2.2. Yale's active career goal leader started 28 games over his first two years, earning Ivy Honor Roll twice last spring before catching fire in the postseason and tallying seven goals. Not afraid of pressure, he drained a game winning overtime goal against Princeton his freshman year.



Conrad Oberbeck, a sophomore from Greenwich, Conn., scored six goals (one short of the school's sophomore record set in 1958) against Albany earlier this year. He is tied for the team lead with 15 goals and is seventh in the nation with three goals per game. Last season, he scored a goal in 10 of the 16 games, and finished atop the Yale class of 2015 with 20 goals and 26 points. He received Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors on March 12 for his five goals in two games. Oberbeck, an attackman, played at Brunswick School before coming to New Haven.



Sophomore goalie Eric Natale (Westminster, Md.) has made a career-high 12 saves twice this season, once in the 15-8 win over Albany and again in the 12-8 victory against Fairfield.  Last season, he started two games (both wins) and played five games overall. He made two saves in a 2012 start against St. John's and stopped six shots in a win over Albany.



Junior Jack Meyer (Manhasset, NY) began 2012 as the backup, but got a chance to win the job and started the final 13 games last season. His best and longest day as a collegiate goalie came against Princeton on March 24, during which he had 14 saves in a 5 OT contest at Reese. Meyer excelled in the post season, earning All-Ivy Tournament goalie honors with 22 saves over the two victories. He finished with 118 saves last season and ranked 14th in Division I with 8.70 saves per game.  Meyer, a baritone who has been singing for eight years, almost chose music over playing lacrosse at Yale.  He took voice lessons and entertained the idea of going to a music conservatory (got into Oberlin, Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon programs) before coming to Yale.  Before coming to New Haven, Meyer sang in the all-state chorus (solo) and was elected to the All-Eastern Seaboard Choir.



Sophomore M James Tjarksen is the son of a former Yale football player, Michael Tjarksen '86 and Yale women's lacrosse captain and All-American Connie Ambler '88… Junior M Jackson Logie's dad, Scott Logie '85, played hockey at Yale… Freshman Jonathon Reese is the son of Jon Reese '90, the school's all-time leading lacrosse scorer and captain of the 1989 Football team.



Three Yale players have been named to the 2013 Tewaaraton Award Men's "Watch List." Brandon Mangan, Michael McCormack and Peter Johnson have all been included on the pre-season list for the top male lacrosse player in the U.S.



The eight New England head coaches vote each week on the top teams in the region.


1. Yale 3-2

2. Quinnipiac 3-0

2. UMass  3-3

4. Brown  3-1

5. Fairfield 3-3

6. Providence 4-0

7. Harvard 2-2

8. Holy Cross 3-3



Brandon Mangan (A), Michael McCormack (D), Peter Johnson (D) and Dylan Levings (FO) have all been named pre-season All-New England. 



A season full of accomplishments, Yale had its…

-           most (11) wins since 1992

-           longest (9) win streak since 1990

-           most (3) first-team All-Ivy picks since 1990

-           first Ivy Tournament title

-           third straight Ivy Tournament appearance

-           third straight 10+ win season



Yale has played in all three Ivy League Tournaments and has an overall 2-2 record. The Elis, 2012 champions, are 1-1 against both Cornell and Princeton. The Bulldogs played at Ithaca twice (2010, 2011) and were at Princeton last May.



After last season's NCAA berth, Yale has played in the NCAAs four (1988, 90, 92, 2012) times and are 2-4 overall. The best run came in 1990 when the Blue beat Princeton in the quarters before falling in OT to Loyola at Rutgers Stadium in the semis.



Both Michael McCormack and Peter Johnson were selected in the seventh round of the 2013 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. The Rochester Rattlers bit on McCormack at 51, the Charlotte Hounds barked at Johnson for the 52nd pick. Former Yale standout Matt Gibson '12 was named the 2012 MLL Cascade Rookie of the Year after leading all rookies with 33 points, including 18 goals. Taken with the 33rd pick of the 2012 draft, Gibson's strong performance helped lead the Long Island Lizards to the playoffs.



Andy Shay, who in 2012 finished his ninth season of his first collegiate head coaching job, has engineered a 31-13 mark over the last three seasons and has three consecutive 10-plus win seasons. He also directed the Bulldogs to three straight Ivy League Tournament appearances, a 2012 Ivy Tournament Title, a 2010 regular-season Ivy League Championship and Yale's first NCAA appearance in 20 years. His position was endowed after the 2012 season and he is now the Ryan and Forst Family Head Coach. The Bulldogs' 2010 season marked the first post-season appearance since 1992 and the first Ivy championship since 1990. Shay's squad was ranked as high as No. 9 at one point during that campaign. Shay, whose defenses have been ranked in the nation's top 10 the last three seasons including 2012, coached his eighth consecutive top 10 ranked face-off unit. Shay (66-58 overall), named Yale head coach on June 25, 2003, helped guide the University of Massachusetts to the 2002 and 2003 NCAA quarterfinals as an assistant coach for four years under Greg Cannella. During his tenure, the Minutemen won two ECAC championships and three New England titles. UMass posted an impressive 37-9 overall record in his last three seasons.



Yale, which shared a league title in 2010, has won six Ivy League Championships, including the first one handed out in 1956. The others came in 1969, 1988, 89, 90 and 2010. The outright titles were in 1956 and 1989.



Here are the names that might be challenging for you to pronounce.

No.       Name                           Pronunciation

20         Michael Bonacci              bo-notch-ee

26         Alirio DeMeireles            ah-lerio  da-meer-les

16         Mark Glicini                    gle-SEE-nee

30         Harry Kucharczyk           ka-char-ZICK

34         Jackson Logie                low-gee

22         Brandon Mangan            MAN-gan

37         Eric Natale                     nuh-TAL-ee

1          Reilly Naton                   nay-tin

17         Alex Otero                     OH-tear-o

38         James Tjarksen              JARK-son

47         Kirby Zdrill                    ZA-drill


filed by Wes Moyer 12, Yale Sports Publicity Intern